Is it time to Shred Those Business Documents?

24, Apr 2017

business documents

Whether you work at home or not, chances are you have a stash of business documents you no longer need.  From bills to business documents to tax records, these records are likely just sitting around taking up space.

Yes, you are required to keep your Revenue Canada related income tax and business records for 6 years.  But if you have boxes or cabinets of documents older than that, now’s a great time to go through them and decide what can let go.

Be sure to recycle any non-sensitive paperwork, like out of date articles or information.  However, if you have any confidential business documents you no longer need, you may want to shred them.

Here are some options for you:

Home Shredders or Drop off Shredding Services

For small amounts of paper, portable shredders work well.  However, if you have a medium amount of paperwork and don’t want to burn out the motor on your home shredder, look into companies that accept drop off materials. Some stationery stores, such as Staples, provide a shredding service for a fee.

On site or Off-Site Shredders

For larger amounts of paper, there are also a variety of companies, like Silver Bullet Shredding, that provide on-site shredding or will pick up materials at your residence or business for off-site shredding.  Some of these organizations will also provide hard drive and electronic media destruction services– very handy if you’re ready to tackle more than just paper.

Community Shred Days

This is a great option from Urban Impact!  For small business or residential shredding, Urban Impact partners with a local organization to provide a mobile shredding truck in your community.  On these Community Shred Days, they shred your documents right in front of you.  Best thing?  Cost is by donation and proceeds go to charity.

Read more and see dates/locations of upcoming Community Shred Days here.

Since we’re all concerned about privacy, shredding your confidential business documents is the safest option.  So let’s go dust off those boxes and get started!

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    1. Dawn – appreciate the Langley reference for a shredding event. Urban impact’s shredding days did not include this area, so now our Langley readers have a resource. Thank you!

  1. Linda, a month after moving in, I’m still sorting and tossing stuff.

    What items of paper would you recommend that I keep? I have my tax records, medical and immediate documents filed, some of which I will transfer to a safety deposit box – birth and other similar records, will, property deed, etc.

    I’ve emptied photos and old articles. So, do I keep report cards, certificates of graduation, resumes, etc.?

    I’m 74-plus years old and am retired (almost 20 years), and don’t think I would need such documentation.


    1. Hi Nettonya,
      Business records, unless these are tax related records such as sources of income or expenses, these can typically be shredded/recycled, if beyond their 6/7 year holding period. Records regarding personal historian purposes are at your discretion, some of which may be scanned for volume and accessibility in a digital format. You could edit down personal items and just save very favourite ones. Place them in a nice keepsake box or album on a shelf, rather than hidden away in a closet. It’s nice to have historical references, although they can take up a lot of living space.

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